August 13, 2020
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Flags are a beautiful sight

  • Scouts from Troop 8: Tyler Denson, Mason Barella and Shea Warner along with Pack 1's Teddy Connell, Nut Christensen, Brandon Toler and Johnathan Thomas carried the flags and led the way down the Avenue of the Flags at Rohnert Park's annual Memorial Day ceremony. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Irene Hilsendager
May 31, 2019

Sunday was a very dreary day in Rohnert Park; however, Monday, May 27, Memorial Day the sun was shining intensely and the flags at the community center were hanging very still, almost a calmness was over the parking lot of the Rohnert Park Community Center. Residents were filing into the event and listening to the Rohnert Park Community Band led by Gary Young playing renditions of different melodies to entertain the audience. 

It was then time for the Scouts to present colors. Tyler Denson, Mason Barella and Shea Warner from Troop 8 and Teddy Connell and Nat Christenson, Brandon Toler and Johnathon Thomas from Pack One recited the Pledge of Allegiance led by Cub master Tom Denson. The Star Spangled Banner was sung solo by Kelly Considine who has participated in this for 24 years.  

Joe Olsen, a retired deacon of the Roman Catholic Church said the opening prayer. 

Introductions were made by Air Force veteran Robert Safreno, who has chaired this event for 33 years. Among the guests were RP City Council members, Pam Stafford and Jake Mackenzie; former city managers Pete Callinan and Carl Leivo.

Petty Officer Second Class Daniel Gossage was introduced as the guest speaker for the day. He is currently stationed in San Francisco and spoke of his rescue mission after the Hurricane in Louisiana. He is the grandson of Doris Gossage, who worked for the Clarion as a sports writer.

The Rohnert Park Chorale, directed by Karen Ball in harmonious voices, sang America the Beautiful. Which was followed by the medley of the different service songs. As the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force melodies were being played members of the audience stood to honor their particular branch of service. 

Joe Olsen closed the event with a final prayer. A beautiful rendition of Taps was played as a hush came over the crowd. The Scouts handed out small American flags as the crowd left and questions were answered by several knowledgeable persons on the status of each flag. Small American flags were placed on all grave sites in all national cemeteries today.